Montessori believed that in order to develop academically we need to develop socially, emotionally, hygienically, independently…we need to develop as a whole person. Pride in self hones pride in everything we do.
By creating activities for the children reproducing daily tasks that we, as adults, undertake without thought, Montessori encourages children to expand their levels of independence at a much younger age. Young children see adults as fascinating things and are happy to mimic what we do and say…often perfectly. The specially prepared materials in this area, allow them the satisfaction of executing adult activities without adult help. As with everything in a Montessori classroom, activities are presented to students in an individual or small group lesson – after which the children are free to use the material at any time during the working period of their day.
The materials are presented in their most simplistic and logical fashion reinforcing “left to right” and “top to bottom” with concrete objects in real and useful activities while the child performs the task, excited that they are encouraged to pour or strain or cut or sift – basic foundations are being addressed. Montessori created materials that encourage success and allow for rectification of mistakes. On so many levels the Practical Life exercises support the more academic components of the classroom – if nothing less providing a calmness and grounding of oneself in the execution of important daily activities. These materials very much contribute to Montessori’s goal and belief in reaching the “normalization” of each child.